Huge box office blockbusters typically don't fare well when awards season comes around, but there are always exceptions. Titanic took home 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, while it was on its way to becoming the biggest box office smash of all time, but that movie is more the exception than the rule. Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the biggest domestic movie of all time, with $819.6 million and counting, many were wondering how this blockbuster would fare when the Oscar nominations were announced earlier today. This beloved sci-fi adventure ended up taking in five Oscar nominations, but it was shut out of all the major categories.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned nominations in technical categories such as sound editing, sound mixing, visual effects and film editing, along with a nod for John Williams' original score. In more recent years, the Academy has given Best Picture nods to big-budget blockbusters like Gravity and American Sniper, but they were both ultimately shut out of all the major awards. USA Today spoke with film historian Leonard Maltin, who revealed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens' failure to land any major awards recognition is not terribly surprising.
"That follows Academy tradition. The Academy tends not to honor genre movies in the best picture category. They don't quite take them seriously enough."
However, the Academy did give Best Picture nominations to two bona fide box office hits, The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road. When the Academy expanded the Best Picture category from five nominees to a maximum of 10, most saw it as a way to honor more popular movies, which in turn would help boost ratings of the awards telecast. While the inclusion of The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road will likely boost the ratings a bit, a Best Picture nomination for Star Wars: The Force Awakens would have given the ratings a much bigger jolt.
It's worth noting that last year's Oscar telecast had the lowest ratings since 2009, the year before the Academy went to 10 Best Picture nominees. The Academy responded by parting ways with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and replacing them David Hill and Reginald Hudlin. Chris Rock will serve as the Oscar host this year, with the telecast set for February 28 on ABC.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope earned 11 Oscar nominations after its groundbreaking theatrical release, including a nod for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Director (George Lucas). It won seven Oscars, including one for John Williams' score, but it lost all of the major awards, including Best Picture, which Annie Hall won. What do you think about Star Wars: The Force Awakens getting shut out of all the major Oscar categories?